Rize Reviews

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
August 16, 2007
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Ken Tucker
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 12, 2006
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AV Club
September 26, 2005
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
August 5, 2005
It's a well-known truth in the dance world that the body doesn't lie. As long as the characters in this film are dancing, we have little reason to doubt their sincerity. But once turned into talking heads, the dancers begin to sound like propagandists.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
August 5, 2005
A vivid portrait of art rising from deprivation and social hopelessness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 8, 2005
LaChapelle's powerful street-dance documentary Rize never lets us forget that its subjects are dancing in a war zone. But dance they do, in a kind of controlled frenzy, with music throbbing and limbs whirling and swaying and pulsing to the beat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 5, 2005
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 1, 2005
[LaChapelle's] not the world's best documentarian, but he saw something that needed chronicling. So he turned his camera on the krumpers and let them do the rest. Smart choice.
| Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 1, 2005
Clowning and krumping are urban art and art therapy in motion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 1, 2005
It's a feel-good film that actually makes you feel good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 27, 2005
It's an incomplete film. We don't get to know these kids well enough.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 24, 2005
LaChapelle reveals the captivating qualities of gritty street dancing, and his film is a touching story of hope, vitality and art rising from the bleakest conditions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
June 24, 2005
While the dance scenes are intoxicating, on-camera interviews with the participants are sobering.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 24, 2005
'Trend' or fad, Rize should endure as a piece of history.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Peter Debruge
Miami Herald
June 24, 2005
Brisk editing, a poppin' hip-hop soundtrack, and plenty of off-the-hook dancing keep the energy high.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 24, 2005
Rize is actually a film about how art can be subverted and perverted by the same social and internal pressures that spawned it in the first place.
| Original Score: B
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
June 24, 2005
Rize soars on the wings of breathtaking images.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
June 24, 2005
Rize isn't a revolution. It's a fashion shoot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
June 24, 2005
Tells this story simply and effectively, with an uncharacteristic restraint that prioritizes genuine sentiment over high-gloss style.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
June 24, 2005
Rize sees LaChapelle turning into a historian-sociologist who feels excitement and wants to share it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
June 24, 2005
Rize is a compelling, bittersweet hybrid of a movie, one celebrating an enormous and hitherto unsung underground talent, while suggesting that art goes only so far in solving the enormous challenges of the underprivileged life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
June 24, 2005
David LaChapelle's documentary is, in its happiest moments, a summer party and a hip-hop milestone.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
June 23, 2005
The stories and personalities that do emerge are touching and intriguing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
June 23, 2005
Enthralling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
June 23, 2005
An exhilarating portrait of a groundbreaking, up-from-the-L.A.-streets strain of athleticism as performance art, Rize would make a provocative companion piece to skateboard documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys.
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Richard Harrington
Washington Post
June 23, 2005
Visually stunning.
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Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
June 23, 2005
LaChapelle wisely avoids too much MTV-style quick-editing and camera trickery, letting the kids dazzle on the strength of their talent.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 23, 2005
The most remarkable thing about Rize is that it is real.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
June 23, 2005
Rize is uplifting without being manipulative, and if -- at 85 minutes -- it is a little longer than it needs to be, LaChapelle is clearly committed to giving these dancers every possible moment of glory.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 23, 2005
Captures the spirit and astounding agility of its krump constituents with appreciative zeal.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 23, 2005
We're just fly-on-the-wall observers to dancing that's a kind of Holy Roller-palooza.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
June 23, 2005
Like its subject, Rize is a helter-skelter blast of energy, punching out in so many directions you don't know where to look first.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ed Halter
Village Voice
June 21, 2005
Few of the interviews get much further than recording surface boasts and assertive self-definitions; LaChapelle connects all their stories with common threads of resisting gang culture, but at the expense of flattening out each person's character.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 15, 2005
A vibrant eruption of motion and attitude.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 11, 2005
There's no way to take your eyes off it.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Koehler
Variety
April 30, 2005
Eye-popping lensing and an appreciation of social complexities combine for an entirely satisfying experience.